In my experience in using third-party vendors (or consultants) to attain a defined goal for my organization, the best way to guarantee their success is to truly embrace them as part of my team. For example, when introducing the consultant during a regular scheduled staff meeting, I stressed the importance they were an extension of our group and leadership team. By engaging the staff and reinforcing that the consultant is part of the group that share in the same vision/mission as our organization has resulted in successful outcomes (i.e achievement of the goals for which the consultant was hired for).
It is encouraging to note that the new department head has reinvigorated the department. Building on this momentum, perhaps an idea would be to bring in a firm that can conduct a workshop (through use of facilitators) based on improving communication and relationships in a healthcare environment. As we are acutely aware, communication is the key to exceptional patient care. The goals of this type of workshop would be to improve interdisciplinary teamwork and on individual communication skills. By having such a workshop everyone in the department is engaged and AB is not being singled out. Depending on the outcome of such a workshop it could become an annual training session or a mini-department retreat.
In addition to several comments about including questions pertaining to parking as part of the patient satisfaction survey, I would recommend that your organization create a physician-led taskforce (or steering committee) with ownership over parking redesign. The taskforce may also include members of the facilities department, hospital volunteers and patients. It’s critical to set a timeline for the taskforce to present a plausible parking solution. Centering the parking issue around both patient and physician satisfaction will result in a high-impact outcome which will most definitely get the attention of the board.
A good start is that the initial feedback for online scheduling is positive. I am in agreement with the comment posted by CVNR. I would add that for online scheduling to be successful it requires a cultural change from the current mindset of the organization. The new message about standardizing scheduling templates to further improve patient care must be consistently driven by both the CEO and their Senior Executive team. Choosing two clinics (one primary care and one subspecialty) to develop/pilot a standardized scheduling template with a designated physician champion for each clinic is good start. In order to ensure a successful outcome, a project timeline must be developed with full transparency on the results of the pilot study.
At this juncture for your hospital’s life-cycle, it’s an opportunity to evaluate how to compete through collaboration. An option would be to approach the competing hospital and begin a dialogue about their willingness for your team to undertake running their orthopedic service line. Developing a management services agreement (within fair market value) with the hospital could potentially be profitable to your organization. This would a feasible short-term solution.
Another recommendation, would be to have a valuation completed for your hospital. A possibility could be for the larger hospital system to become the ‘parent company’ for your hospital (i.e not a full asset merger). Terms of the agreement would be for your hospital to remain a separate corporate entity and keep a separate boards of directors. Your hospital would gain a seat on the larger hospital system board (and vice a versa). This would open the doors for your hospital to partake in payers narrow network.